Skin Allergy Symptoms and Management

Skin allergy symptoms are important to identify and to differentiate from skin infections. Though thesymptoms are often similar, treatment of an infection can be very different from management and control of a skin allergy.

Indentifying a skin allergy is important because a lot of the same symptoms could be produced by infections, heat, and inflammation and even as a reaction to prescription drugs. For instance skin allergy symptoms such as eczema can mimic those of psoriasis, which is not an allergic reaction but caused by a disorder that produces more skin cells than needed.

Symptoms of a skin allergy:

1. Hives

skin-allergy-symptomsHives are one of the most common skin allergysymptoms and an estimated 25% of the American population will have this reaction at least once in their lives.

Hives are characterized by raised bumps of reddened skin in various shapes and sizes.Extreme itchiness is another characteristic of hives. Certain foods and drugs are the most likely triggers of hives.

2. Contact Dermatitis

This is a reaction to an allergen that takes the form of itchy, blistered red skin. It takes a day or two for the reaction to occur and may take two to four weeks for the rash to clear up even with treatment. The most common culprits are perfumes, nickel, rubber or latex products, dyes, cosmetics as well as a common ingredient in antibiotic powders and creams called neomycin.

3. Eczema

This is another one of the common skin allergy symptoms where a scaly, red, itchy rash which can occur on the knees, elbows and face. House dust, pet dander, overheating or excessive sweating, as well as substances such as soaps and wool could cause this skin reaction. There could be emotional triggers also that could cause this skin reaction and among children, certain foods can also cause eczema.

Management of skin allergy symptoms

Identification of the allergen or the trigger of any allergic reaction is the key to management of the allergy. So identifying what substance or occurrence is responsible for causing the skin rash is the first step in managing of the skin allergy.

Then avoidance of the allergen is the next important part of managing the allergy. If it is a food reaction, cut that food or beverage out of the diet and be careful and circumspect when eating out. Eliminate allergens from the home and immediate environment as far as possible.

If it is a drug reaction that is causing the symptoms, ask the doctor to suggest an alternative such as a different formulation or brand of the drug. Wear protective gear such as gloves when required, if you are to come into contact with a substance that is known to cause contact dermatitis.

When the skin allergy symptoms do appear, do not scratch or rub the rash. Apply cold compresses to sooth the rash and apply over the counter medications or prescription gels or ointments for reducing the discomfort. Take any antihistamines or corticosteroid medications that may be prescribed to keep the rashes in control and to avoid lasting skin damage.

Posted in: ALLERGY

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